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White House reaction to Assad’s visit to Moscow regrettable — high-ranking diplomat

October 22, 2015, 9:57 UTC+3 BUENOS AIRES
Moscow regrets that Washington regards with suspicion the efforts, undertaken at the highest level with the aim to resolve the Syrian crisis, which stems largely from the US policy in the MidEast
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Syrian president Bashar Assad (left) and Russian president Vladimir Putin

Syrian president Bashar Assad (left) and Russian president Vladimir Putin

© Alexey Druzhinin/Russian presidential press service/TASS

BUENOS AIRES, October 22. /TASS/. Talks of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad have aimed to prepare the ground for a political settlement in Syria and thus, the White House’s doubts on the issue are regrettable, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, who is on a visit to Argentina, told TASS.

"During the talks in the Kremlin, a political component of the Syria settlement was in the focus of attention," Ryabkov said in comments on US White House’s Deputy Press Secretary Eric Shultz’s statement. Ryabkov underlined "a frank conversation of Russia’s president and legitimately elected Syria’s president has become top priority to seek ways to a political climax."

"This is evident for each," Ryabkov said. "We can just regret that Washington regards with suspicion and animosity our efforts, undertaken at the highest level with the aim to resolve the crisis, which stems largely from a short-sighted and mostly erroneous policy of the US in the Middle East."

Earlier, Shultz said that Assad’s visit to Moscow ran counter to the Russian goal of ensuring a political transition of power in Syria.

On Tuesday, at the talks in Moscow Putin assured Syria’s President Bashar Assad that Moscow’s stance on Syria had remained unaltered: the political settlement in contact with other powers and with the participation of all political forces, ethnic and religious groups should make up a long-term settlement. Also, Putin spoke about Russia’s readiness to make its contribution to the struggle against terrorism.

Assad said words of gratitude to Russia’s president for support to his country as terrorism the region is faced with remains a concrete obstacle on the path to political settlement within the country.

Assad arrived in Moscow on the first trip abroad since the civil war was unleashed in Syria in 2011.

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